What’s it like to an alien eye?
Aliens staying in Kolkata, India on the 27th April 2006,
the day the elections to the provincial legislature of West
Bengal were held, were surprised to find how much did an
election affect the lives of people in the city. All shops
were closed and roads were deserted in the bustling city.
Only a handful of cafes stayed open in the downtown around
guesthouses, which did not serve food.
Frederick Schulz (23) from Berlin said it took only 10
minutes to vote in his country. Life went on as usual in
Germany on an election day also. Yoko Toya (26) and Naomi
Ota (29) were in India on a three weeks’ tour. Yoko said
they had nowhere to go on the poll day at Kolkata because
all establishments including the Planetarium were closed.
He further said that Poll was held in Japan on a Sunday
when shops were closed otherwise also. There were no queues
in Japan for voting because polling stations were too many.
David Wilson (44) from UK said it was incredible how quiet
it was in Kolkata. The streets that were bustling with
activity on other days were deserted like Bournemouth out
of a season on a bad day. Henry White (33) from London was
taken aback at the interest shown by the people in the
elections. He said politics seemed to play a big part in
peoples’ lives in Kolkata, whereas in England the turn out
at the elections was gradually dropping with passage of